Michael Jinkins

Dr. Michael Jinkins

Address100 East 27th Street
Austin, TX 78705

Academic Dean and Professor of Pastoral Theology, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

B.A., Howard Payne University, 1975
M.Div., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1979
D.Min., Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1983
Ph.D., University of Aberdeen, 1990

Michael Jinkins has been a member of the faculty of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary since 1993, after serving as a pastor in congregations in Irving, Itasca, and Brenham, Texas, and in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and a member of Mission Presbytery. Professor Jinkins became academic dean of the Seminary in January 2004, and has been appointed by the Board of Trustees to a second five-year term beginning January 1, 2009.

The author of over one hundred published papers, articles and reviews, Dr. Jinkins has also authored twelve books, including: Invitation to Psalms (Abingdon Press, 2008), the participant book in Abingdon’s popular Disciple Bible Study video series; and Letters to New Pastors (Eerdmans Press, 2006). He recently finished a new book, Called to be Human: Letters to my Children on Living a Christian Life, which will be published by Eerdmans in 2009.

Dr. Jinkins has recently been engaged in research on a new project, Orthodox Heresies, chronicling the heresy trials of four of the leading Scottish theologians of the nineteenth century. He is also under contract to Westminster John Knox Press to author a commentary on the Minor Prophets and Daniel for their biblical commentary series written by theologians.

Dr. Jinkins’ book Christianity, Tolerance, and Pluralism: A Theological Engagement with Isaiah Berlin’s Social Theory, was published by Routledge Press in 2004. The book is based on research begun in 1999 at Oxford University funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment through the Association of Theological Schools Faculty Grants Program. The research topic for this grant was: “The Role of Conflict in Communities of Faith: The Application of Isaiah Berlin’s Value Pluralism in Communities of Faith.” Jinkins was also awarded an Oxford Foundation Fellowship by the Graduate Theological Foundation during his research leave in England. Further publications based on this research include Dr. Jinkins’ recent essay, “Pluralism and Religious Faith,” in The One and the Many: Reading Isaiah Berlin, George Crowder and Henry Hardy, editors (Amherst: Prometheus Books, 2007); “Mutuality and Difference: Trinity, Creation, and the Theological Ground of the Church’s Unity,” (Scottish Journal of Theology, 2003); and “Trouble in Paradise: Isaiah Berlin, the Prophet Isaiah, and the Recovery of a Non-Utopian Eschatological Claim for Christian Preaching,” (International Journal of Practical Theology, 2007).

Dr. Jinkins’ essay, “Docents in the House of Wonder,” was also recently translated into Dutch and published in the Netherlands as the foreword to a new edition of Abraham Joshua Heschel’s classic, The Sabbath (Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Abraxas, 2006).

Other books by Dr. Jinkins include: Invitation to Theology: A Guide to Study, Conversation, and Practice (InterVarsity Press, 2001); Transformational Ministry: Church Leadership and the Way of the Cross (Saint Andrew Press, 2002); The Church Faces Death: Ecclesiology in a Postmodern Context (Oxford University Press, 1999); The Character of Leadership: Political Realism and Public Virtue in Nonprofit Organizations, co-authored with his wife, Deborah (Jossey-Bass, 1998); and In the House of the Lord: Inhabiting the Psalms of Lament (Liturgical Press, 1998).

Dr. Jinkins recently finished his term of office as president of the Council of Southwestern Theological Schools (COSTS). He has received a number of other appointments including: research associate for The New Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press); and visiting lecturer at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia. He has also been a visiting lecturer at King’s College, the University of London and at Ridley Hall, Cambridge University. He has served on consultations on the future of theological inquiry at the Center of Theological Inquiry, Princeton; the teaching of leadership, administration, and finance, in conjunction with the Claremont School of Theology; and on the teaching of practices of ministry with the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion. He currently serves on a project, funded by the Lilly Endowment, Inc. and chaired by Dr. James Nieman of Harford Seminary, to develop resources congregations can use to explicate the theologies that guide their practices of Christian faith.

Dr. Jinkins was a founding member of the Academy of Religious Leadership, and served as an associate editor and board member of its journal, the Journal of Religious Leadership, from 2001-2006. He has also served as faculty-mentor for the Excellence from the Start Program coordinated by the Office of Theology and Worship of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and has conducted research in conjunction with the Pulpit & Pew project of Duke University Divinity School. He is a past editor of Insights: The Faculty Journal of Austin Seminary.

Dr. Jinkins is active in pursuing grants to enhance the educational programs of Austin Seminary. He chaired the research team and oversight committee for grants from the Favrot Fund of Texas enabling Austin Seminary to study and develop programs to address clergy burnout. The results of the Austin Seminary study were published by the Alban Institute (Congregations, Vol. 28 [May-June 2002] No. 3), and are available through the web site of the College of Pastoral Leaders. A follow-up study will be conducted in 2007 to learn how well the seminary’s interventions have worked. Dr. Jinkins was principal author and chair of the grant-writing team for the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence grant for $1.56 million from the Lilly Endowment to establish the College of Pastoral Leaders at Austin Seminary. As academic dean, he also chaired the renewal grant committee for the continuance of this program ($781,803), and has written grants to the Wabash Center and the Lilly Endowment to support faculty development for the improvement of teaching, curriculum renewal, and a faculty research project to determine what church leaders and congregations expect of seminary education today.

Dr. Jinkins is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Society for Pastoral Theology, the Academy of Religious Leadership, and the Kierkegaard Society. He is active in the association of Chief Academic Officers (CAOS) of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). His teaching and research interests include the intersections of theology, ethics and public policy; ecclesiology and congregational studies; theological reflection on the practice of ministry; pastoral and spiritual formation; and leadership of nonprofit organizations.

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